Tuesday, February 16, 2021

FAMILY DAY ...a.k.a. all the Covid-days

Family Day is funny this year. Because most of the days in the last year have been family days...the five of us together because there isn't anywhere else to go. Thanks, Covid (which I mean both sarcastically and seriously...because a lot of it has been a complete gift. But also, it's covid, so a total bummer, too). 

Family Day gifted us a nice sleep in and the fun of a free Monday. After a lazy breakfast of eggs Benny and time for everyone to do their own thing for a few hours (homework, work, reading), we headed out for some time in the freezing cold. A quick Blizzard stop (red velvet and oreo) and then off to Wreck Beach. 

There was a bit of conversation on the way to the beach about how a nude beach translates into February weather. Will there be nudie people down there, or not? Just as we were parking, an unusual, but jolly fellow crossed the street in front of us. He was grooving along to his own little beat, wearing a funky little outfit of layers and colours, while snacking on a box of triscuts. I don't know if he noticed us staring, but he grinned at us (somewhat menacingly) through the windshield and tossed a triscut on at our car (?!). So...he'd be the kind of guy to get naked on a cold beach. We really hoped THAT scene wouldn't be a part of our family day...

On our way down the stairs...

Maybe Finny looks a little cold...?

Down on the beach, it was freezing. There were people SWIMMING. I mean, they had a nice beach fire going. But, really??

On our way home, we stopped by Mum and Dad's to pick up Valentine's gifts. It still doesn't feel normal to hang out on the front step. I miss Sunday dinners and hanging out in the den or the kitchen. It will feel so good to be back inside home and hugging Mum and Dad. In the mean time, more front porch conversations. And if look closely in the picture below, you can see that Finny asked Lukey to hug her at Gram's height and she closed her eyes to imagine it was a Gram hug. I had to laugh, but it is also pretty sad. 

Mum sent the kids home with photo albums full of pictures from her collection. All three kids were happy/sad flipping through the books. There is an odd feeling in all of us. Time is standing still (it is a real life Groundhog Day) but it is also passing so quickly. It's like no time since Molly was in Grade 12 and Lukey was just starting high school. Covid has stretched out and now Molly's solidly a university student and it feels like Finny is closing on the end of high school. No basketball season, but Lukey has grown almost 6 inches in the last year. It's all so odd...

We ended the night with a booked swim in our strata pool. What's a booked swim in our own complex pool, you ask? Again, Covid. It has been closed for eleven months. And now we have to book it. And pay $5.

I had missed the hot tub, though. And that beach was cold. So I was looking forward to a nice soak. Until we got into the pool room. And I put my toe in the "hot" tub. It. Was. Cold. 

Bummed. So, so bummed. Eric and the kids played for a bit and then we headed home. But I took a small detour. On our way out, I slow motioned bailed HARD into the bushes outside the pool door. Lukey and Finny were simultaneously completely entertained and horrified. I hurt my hand, my toe, my leg. It was also really, really ugly. 

So, yep. Bad pool trip for sure.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Viking Girl


It is so strange. I remember heading to UVic and moving into residence like it was yesterday. But it wasn't. It was 28 years ago. Oh. My. God. 

Molly started at UVic today. But she's here at home. She and Eric went for a morning bike ride down to Granville Island. 

Training wheels. We put them on a bike when we just don't know if we can balance. Watch a kid ride with training wheels and sometimes the kid is basically riding sideways, leaning all their weight on the training wheels. But usually they are riding a bike for real, but the training wheels give them confidence. It's less scary, even if you aren't using them. 

Molly came home and got online for her first class: Social Sciences, Perspectives on Cities. Here's her classroom this morning:


And for the afternoon, she decided to learn al fresco for Sociology and Entrepreneurship: 

I got to eat lunch with her and help her get on her Zoom class. I even got to hear some of the lectures. In fact, she just brought me a cup of tea.

It is a little less scary this way. Molly being at home, it is a bit like training wheels. I know she could do it, going away to school. And I am pretty sure I could do it, too. But there are silver linings all over this crazy global pandemic. And this silver lining is like training wheels for both of us. Just a bit of confidence before she sets off on her own.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Last Weekend of the Longest Spring Break in the History of the WORLD


Haha...! The kids got out of school the second week of March and they go back this week (Thursday for Lukey and Friday for Finny...Molly starts online UVic tomorrow). That is a nice nearly six month break. The longest spring break ever.

But it doesn't matter how much time you get on your "break", you want more. The kids are all looking forward to school, but it still lamenting "going back". I don't know how long it would have to before they were really psyched. I hope we don't find out...haha (450+ Covid cases this last weekend mean numbers are going up, so I really hope we don't go back). 

So, in the interest of getting the last squeeze out of summer, we headed to Vancouver Island. I booked an AirBnB at a condo on Yellow Point (just a bit outside of Ladysmith). I spent a bunch of time trolling last minute sites and short term rental sites trying to find something good. When I spotted this one, I jumped on it. 

What didn't I think about? Ferries. In the Summer of BC, ferries reservations are like Gold and the Rush is ON. I looked and all the reservations from Duke Point were looooooong gone. I scrounged around and found a Monday reservation (I even went on Craigslist) from Departure Bay. Nothing for Friday. 

Nothing for Friday of the last long weekend of the summer (with a stellar weather forecast)? Hmmmm. Two choices: take three meals, a couple of books, some chairs and your toothbrush because you will be at the ferry terminal ALL day OR wake up at the crack of dawn. Nope, BEFORE the crack of dawn and cross your fingers.

So that's what we did. Here's us waiting in line and watching the sun rise:

 We watched a whole movie before we got on the ferry. That's how early we were.

Molly was pretty excited to be getting away (there were some bad outtakes from this picture). Eric and Finny stayed in town (Eric: meeting Finny: private lessons). They walked on a ferry later in the day.

We were at Rathtrevor Beach by 9:30. There are a lot of hours in the day when you get up that early. 

Molly and I did some beach exploring while Lukey got in his beauty sleep:

We held a bit of a contest. Molly and I each had four minutes to complete something out of beach items. Lukey was the judge. I played strategically and banked on judge flattery. I came in under time with this masterpiece:

Molly went all artistic and ambitious. I think this image speaks for itself:

Wait, it doesn't? You mean you can't tell what it is? It's mermaids. Huh? You still don't see it? Neither did we. But she was proud enough that she wanted a picture with it...

We hit up Parksville (cute stores, actually), including an excellent used bookstore (two books for Molly, one for me). 

Then we went to visit the goats on the roof in Coombs. 

Meanwhile, Finny and Eric were on their way: 

THE fashion item of Summer 2020: masks

We dropped Lukey off at the condo to watch the Canucks game (September hockey playoffs...thank you Covid) and we went to pick up the others.

We had a lazy morning on Saturday, reading and working a bit. We explored the condo property, the kids went for a swim and poked around the tide pools.

We drove to Yellow Point Lodge (gorgeous...must go back!), Ladysmith, Chemanius. Got dinner and headed back to watch some Breaking Bad and relax.

Sunday morning we decided to get an early start and head to Long Beach for the day. A long drive, but it was a beautiful day.

Three hours later, we got to the west coast. To total fog and a fifteen degree temperature drop. The kids were mystified why we would have traveled all that way to sit in a cloud. The next bay over...different story. Sunshine and warm again.

We hung out at Pacific Sands, where the Urbans were staying. They were offshore fishing. We were onshore hammocking :)

Dinner was Tacofino (a full hour wait) and a quick drive around Tofino before heading back to the Urbans to take a sunset walk out to the closest rocky point.

We got home late but feeling like the drive was well worth it. 

Up in the morning to pack up and sad to see the summer go. 

We took a last walk around Piper Lagoon park (also really cool). 

And we thanked our lucky stars that we took that lone reservation. There were three and four ferry waits. But we drove right on to the ferry and got home in no time.

It was a great last weekend. Good weather. The best company. And a very nice way to wrap up the longest spring break in the history of the world.